Former soldier Ibrahim Awang Zakaria lost a leg in an operation against communist insurgents near Grik, Perak, in 1975, but it has not diminished his spirit to serve the country.
The father of 10, who will be 75 this year, said the disability did not stop him from loving the country.
“The spirit of a warrior is still deep in my heart; it did not end even after I left the army in 1991.
“If I am asked to sacrifice for the country, I am willing to do it all over again,” said the former corporal, who served with the Royal Malay Regiment, when met at his home in Kampung Hamzah here.
Recalling the tragedy when he lost a leg to a booby trap, Ibrahim said he was conducting a patrol with seven others at Hutan Batu in the Grik area when the incident happened.
“We received information on the presence of the enemy in the area on the night before, and my senior officer had ordered us to conduct the patrol the following day at the construction site of the east-west road.
“We started our surveillance around 10am and while walking along the route, one of us stepped on a booby trap, causing it to explode.
“I was badly hit by the explosion while another colleague was slightly injured. The others escaped unhurt,” said Ibrahim.
He said his right leg was maimed in the incident and he was rushed to Ipoh Hospital on board a helicopter. Due to the seriousness of the injury, his leg had to be amputated.
“Since then, I have used an artificial leg, which makes it easy for me to move around.”
Ibrahim said he was happy that two of his children had followed in his footsteps by joining the army.
“As a father, of course I am happy for them to continue the tradition that I started by serving the country that we love.
“I hope their children and grandchildren will continue the tradition as there is nothing more meaningful than serving the country to maintain peace and harmony.” -NST